Arundhati Sharma

Arundhati Sharma

Stas Hite-Polansky

Stas Hite-Polansky

Santa Maria students Stas Hite-Polansky and Arundhati Sharma won first and second place respectively in the recent Rotary Club district-wide essay contest.

The Rotary-sponsored contest invited students throughout Rotary District 5240 to explain in essay form how the Rotary 4-Way test could be used to resolve conflict at school.

The district includes 72 Rotary clubs in four counties. The Rotary 4-Way test asks people to consider four things before acting: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Local first-place winners in their divisions were submitted to the district for further competition.

Hite-Polanski, a fifth-grader at Joe Nightingale Elementary School, won first-place at both the local and district levels for elementary students for his essay on using the 4-way test to resolve conflict about how to deal with food waste at school.

Sharma, a seventh-rader at Lakeview Junior High, won first place at the local level and second place at the district level for junior high students for her essay on how the 4-way test could be used in math class to resolve conflict.

Both students were sponsored by Santa Maria Rotary Club South, which also sponsored the local competition that garnered nearly 60 contestants from 13 Santa Maria schools.

Local winners are: high school division, first place, Ariana Cross, Orcutt Academy; second place, Jordyn Rae, Righetti; third place, Hayley Parker, Orcutt Academy; junior high division, first place, Sharma, Lakeview; second place, Lucas Hsiung, Orcutt Junior High; third place, Steve Madera, El Camino Junior High; elementary division, first place, Hite-Polansky, Joe Nightingale; second place, Evelyn Miller, Taylor Elementary; third place, Chloe Ortiz, Dunlap Elementary; honorable mention, Violet Guerrero, second-grader at Alvin Elementary.

“We are so proud of the large number of students who submitted essays for our local competition,” said essay committee chair Lisa Long for Santa Maria Rotary South. “The quality of work was outstanding and a credit to Santa Maria teachers, students and parents.

“And we are especially delighted that Stas and Arundhati were winners at the district level. High honors, indeed.”